Letter: Attack heart disease with funding



I recently returned from a WomenHeart Conference in Washington, D.C., where outstanding women and companies were acknowledged for their contribution to women’s heart disease, the number one killer of American women. What greeted me was the response of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, to a woman at one of her coffee chats who asked her stance on cuts to funding women’s preventive health. Reported in the May 2 Columbian story, “Herrera Beutler discusses CRC, health care at forum,” she called the women’s health fund a “slush fund,” stating it is the stance of “her fellow Republicans.”

Herrera Beutler is a young woman. The largest growing number of women in the U.S. being misdiagnosed and those dying of heart disease are under 50.

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is considered “rare,” but pregnant women and those having just given birth are suffering the consequences of M.D.s’ lack of knowledge resulting in horrific heart problems. Women’s heart disease research funding is a pathetic 20 percent of that of men. One in three women will die of heart disease, more than any other deadly disease affecting women.

As a woman, Herrera Beutler owes it to herself to learn about the disease that will likely affect women in her own family, possibly herself.

Leslea Steffel-Dennis